Associate Director, People Operations

Posted: September 10, 2021

Closing: December 11, 2021


A growing syn-biotechnology company is seeking an experienced Associate Director, People Operations to join their South San Francisco-based team. The Associate Director, People Operations is a seasoned advisor to the leadership team, who will act as an employee champion, able to assess and anticipate HR-related needs and develop successful solutions that help advance the company’s goals. In this position, you will address all issues related to employee relations, organizational development, performance management, and day-to-day general human resources. You should be a proactive communicator and change agent, someone who can successfully balance employee needs with business objectives to create integrated solutions that benefit everyone.


We are building an amazing team of brilliant, collaborative and mission-driven individuals who take pride in using their diverse skills to contribute to a better world.

Our core values include tenacity, curiosity, trust, teamwork, inclusivity and balance and we strive to bring these values to life every day.


Join our team, own your destiny, and lead the world's transition to animal-free protein.




  • Ensure fair and equitable treatment of all employees and manage legal aspects of employee/employer relationship.

  • Partner with senior management to plan and direct all aspects of human resources functions including compliance to Federal, State and local labor laws, regulations, Clara Foods policies, programs and best practices.

  • Lead a positive work environment that is inclusive and diverse.  This position, with (2) direct reports is responsible for creating and executing strategies to strengthen performance in the areas of employee recruiting, retention, benefits, engagement, employee relations, training and development. 

  • Provide day-to-day performance management support to managers; provide coaching, counseling, and disciplinary actions to employees as needed.

  • Maintain accurate records in HRIS and payroll systems.

  • Identify training needs for business units and participate in facilitation.

  • Assist in immigration matters for foreign nationals with outside immigration firm

  • Maintain an effective level of business literacy including company goals, mission, financial position, strategy, competition, technology and culture.


[What we expect:]


  • Demonstrated experience with cross-functional collaboration.
  • Strong ability to use data to influence decision-making.
  • Comfortable working in a fast paced, rapidly changing environment.


NOTE about job location:  This role will be based in our South San Francisco office, this role will work from that office at least three days a week with two days remote offering a flexible schedule.


[Qualifications and Education: ]

  • Minimum of 10 years of progressive Human Resource experience, 5 of which managing direct reports required.
  • Four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources or related field or equivalent experience on a year-for-year basis required.
  • SPHR, PHR, PHRca, SHRM-CP, or SHRM-SCP or other applicable specialized certification preferred.
  • Proficiency in Human Resource practices and California employment law, federal laws and regulations, including FLSA, ADA, Workers' Compensation regulations, DFEH, EEOC, FMLA and CFRA required.
  • Competency in HRIS and ATS software required (Namely, Payscale, JazzHR preferred).
  • Strong presentation and communication skills, both in creation and facilitation required.
  • Must be authorized to work in the United States for Clara Foods.

[Preferred Skills and Abilities:]

  • Experience at a high-growth startup in the ingredient, flavor, agricultural and food strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong Interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Ability to interact effectively with all levels of the organization and in a variety of cultures – both internal and external.
  • Available to travel domestically approximately < 5%.
  • Ability to take risks to achieve desired results.
  • Ability to adapt and support others through change, ambiguity and complexity.


[What Clara Foods can offer]:

  • Generous benefits package; 100% medical, dental, and vision employee coverage, 401k matching, and stock options
  • Optional benefits; FSA, HSA, Commuter, Pet Care, and additional life insurance
  • Flexible PTO
  • Weekly Lunches
  • Free parking, unlimited gym access, lounge, mini-golf patio, yoga and fitness classes onsite
  • Unlimited supply of sparkling water, granola bars, snacks, local coffee and tea
  • Weekly themed happy hours and quarterly company outings
  • Monthly all-hands meetings and 1:1 with CEO and leadership
  • Close to South San Francisco BART and Cal Train stations, including free shuttle service


Clara Foods is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

How to apply…

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